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NZ Blood Service Vampire Assistance

( The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is out for blood, this time with the help of some of the world’s most popular vampires.

NZBS has teamed up with Hachette New Zealand, publishers of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, and PRIME, the broadcaster of HBO’s critically-acclaimed True Blood television series starring Anna Paquin, which is based on the novels.

The trio is launching a joint campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of blood donation, and ‘glamour’ (that’s vampire for ‘encourage’) eligible Harris and True Blood fans to become blood donors.

Currently, less than 5% of New Zealanders give blood and the number of donors is declining by 1,000 people each year.

NZBS Marketing Manager Paul Hayes says that unlike Harris’ vampire characters, who can survive by drinking synthetic ‘True Blood’, there is currently no alternative to real blood for New Zealanders in need.

“We can’t fake it like ‘True Blood’. We rely on our blood donors to donate the 3,000 donations needed each and every week to save lives.

“It is through their generosity that we are able to provide blood and blood products to help more than 42,000 New Zealanders every year,” says Mr Hayes.

The relationship has been forged in the lead up to the release of Dead in the Family, Harris’ 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, later this month, and the highly anticipated screening of the new, third series of True Blood on PRIME later this year.

Author Charlaine Harris says she is pleased her novels, and the resulting television show, can be leveraged to help inspire New Zealanders to support such an important cause.

“I think it is just fantastic that fans can follow in the footsteps of my vampires, who quite often donate their blood to save mortal lives,” says Ms Harris.

Publisher Hachette New Zealand has recently re-released Harris’ first nine books with new covers that tie in with the popular television show, with each featuring an on-cover sticker to appeal to potential blood donors.

Meanwhile, encores of the first True Blood series will screen on PRIME, starting Sunday 16 May at 10pm.

Prime Channel Manager Kathy Wright says the broadcaster is excited to work with True Blood fans to support the NZ Blood Service.

“We know that our True Blood fans generally aren’t the squeamish type, so we are confident that those who are eligible to donate will take the opportunity to become donors and save lives.

“Just like blood types, we think this is a perfect match!” she says.

PRIME’s True Blood screenings will feature regular, bottom-of-screen ‘tickers’ to encourage potential blood donors to find out more.

“We are also ‘putting our blood where our mouth is’ by educating our 1,000 plus staff about blood donation, so that they can also offer their ‘True Blood’ to the cause if they wish to,” says Ms Wright.

For more information about making an appointment to become a blood donor, you can text TRUE to 515, visit or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.

Media Release 11 May 2010 from SKY TV.



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